Apply for Our Climate Leadership Program

Milton Academy Curbs Invasive Purple Loosestrife With Beetles



“When I think about a world where climate issues and the environment are so often neglected, I feel fortunate to be able to learn about what I can do,” Dorje Dixey told The Bluedot Institute. “There is nothing better than going into the field to understand the power of nature.” In this note to The Bluedot Institute, Dorje outlines a study he helped conduct in one of his favorite classes at Milton Academy.

Purple Loosestrife, a beautiful purple flowering plant, is an invasive that can take over and crowd out indigenous plants in wetlands. 

Milton Academy has been doing a long-term study to see if the introduction of particular beetles, the G. pusilla and G. calmariensis, can lead to a decrease in Purple Loosestrife growth. 

In a wetland plot designated for the study, five quadrants of one square meter were marked out, and Cattail and Loosestrife heights, stem numbers, and flower numbers were measured for each quadrant. The overall results of this experiment showed a reduction in Purple Loosestrife growth with no change in Cattail growth. So the beetles seemed to be doing their job. Further studies are needed to be sure this decrease occurred due to the addition of the beetles, rather than other conflating factors, but the results were impressive. The right kind of intervention can help keep nature in balance.

Latest Stories

Six Mothers Paving the Way for a More Sustainable Fashion Industry

In honor of Mother’s Day, here is a tribute to six admirable women who have dedicated...

Student Dispatch: A Glimpse Into Environmentalism in Spain

From the age of five I have been passionate about helping solve climate change. At Phillips...

Artist Writeup: Ariana Thornton

“Of the People, by the People, FOR the People?” (New Hampshire Best in Show) 2021Medium: Procreate This piece...

Why We Need Thorium

The biggest existential threat to humanity is climate change. To address this threat, the world must...

Preserving Peatlands

Peat is a rich layer of soil consisting of partially decomposed organic matter that forms because...

The Introverts’ Activist

In late September, the Winsor School was lucky enough to have Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate...

Stitched Secrets

You have probably heard about the inhumane practices behind fast fashion clothing: child labor, unsafe working...
Dorje Dixey
Dorje Dixey
Dorje Dixey is a freshman at Tulane University. While at Milton Academy he enjoyed leadership roles as dorm monitor as a board member of the school Economics Club, and he played on the Boys Varsity Basketball team.

Read More

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here